Why Hire an Attorney for a Premises Liability Claim?
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by an unsafe condition on someone else’s property, you’re likely feeling worried and overwhelmed. You’ve lost time at work and you may be concerned about losing your job. You’re probably wondering how your medical bills will get paid, not to mention the rent or the mortgage. You think the property owner should be held responsible, but you’re not sure how all of that works. Those are all questions an experienced personal injury attorney can help answer.
When you’re seriously hurt in an accident, you need to focus on healing and recovery. There are a number of ways that a lawyer with experience handling premises liability claims can help you through this stressful time and work to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Investigating Your Accident
The first thing you need to do after getting medical treatment for your injuries is to start gathering evidence that shows what happened in your accident and can establish who is at fault. However, you may not know how to start doing that. An experienced personal injury lawyer will have conducted countless accident investigations and will know just what kinds of evidence you need to document your claim. Your lawyer also will have a database of qualified experts who can help with your claim, such as accident reconstruction specialists and doctors who can perform independent medical examinations.
Your lawyer can oversee the gathering of:
- Photographs and Videos
- Accident Reports
- Medical Records
- Medical Bills
- Witness Statements
- Property Records
- Independent Medical Evaluations
Your lawyer also will know how to use the evidence gathered to present your claim to an insurance company or a jury so that you get fair compensation.
Once the investigation is complete, your lawyer can make a settlement demand to the property owner’s insurance company. Usually that takes the form of a letter that details what happened to you, how you’ve suffered because of your injuries, and how the property owner’s negligence led to your injuries, and assigns a dollar value the compensation you should receive because of the accident.
It’s rare that the insurance company receives the letter and immediately cuts a check. It’s more likely that they’ll try to argue with some of the facts or evidence to try to minimize what they pay. A skilled premises liability lawyer can use his or her knowledge of the law and how insurance companies work to negotiate a settlement. Your lawyer’s goal will be to get you the best possible settlement that fully compensates your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, and loss of normal life.
Filing a Lawsuit
If your claim can’t be settled, your lawyer can draft and file lawsuit documents on your behalf. A good premises liability lawyer will have experience litigating claims in the Illinois or federal courts where your lawsuit will need to be filed. Premises liability cases can be complex and involve fine points of the law when it comes to determining who is responsible for your injuries. A lawyer can navigate the nuances of the law to present the strongest possible case to a jury so that you get a fair verdict.
Resolving Insurance Disputes
It may be that you started the claims process on your own and then hit a snag. Maybe the insurance company denied your claim because they said there wasn’t enough documentation, or they may be alleging that there’s no coverage for your accident or injuries. An experienced Chicago injury attorney can review your case, the insurance policy, and the reasons for denial and help you with an appeal.